Hoop league, AOL share cross-promotional assist

NBA, WNBA sites to use AIM, gain search capabilities

NEW YORK — The National Basketball Assn., which is beefing up its NBA.com Web site, has signed a multiyear deal with America Online.

Pact, which both parties call a strategic alliance, will focus on cross-promotion. For example, AOL will promote NBA.com and WNBA.com across all of its platforms, including CompuServe, AOL.com, Netscape and Digital City.

The NBA will promote AOL during the three NBA primetime games each week on TNT and TBS. AOL will also get promo spots on TNT and TBS pre- and postgame reports, plus WNBA programming.

In a further melding of content, AOL Sports and Kids Only channels will be able to freely tap into both NBA and WNBA material. AOL will also get the rights to use NBA logos and player names in the basketball-fantasy game that AOL is developing for use throughout its platforms.

NBA.com and WNBA.com will get a license to use AOL’s Instant Messenger and AOL Search, and will set up local ticket sales through Digital City.

AOL and CompuServe’s users will obtain exclusive nightly video highlights from NBA Entertainment during the season as well as photos and constantly updated game stats.

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